When to Call an Agent if You're Thinking About Selling

Timing is Everything: When to Dial an Agent for a Stellar Home Sale!

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The traditional rule of thumb is to contact an agent about four to six months out from selling your home.

There are many tasks and to-do’s to take into account, starting with renovations and repairs you want to consider making to the home, all of which a knowledgeable real estate agent can guide you on in terms of what is necessary, what’s not, and what will get you the most return.

It typically takes anywhere from two to three months to find a new home. This is another consideration.

Once you decide on a real estate agent, there are few things you will want to discuss:

  1. Current market – What should you expect your home to sell for? This is where the agent can run “comps” for you and look at comparable homes that have sold recently, as well as evaluate price per square footage, location and anything else unique about your home or updates that would affect the pricing.
  2. Finances and Pre-approval – Next, you will want to talk finances with your agent and go to the bank at least 6 weeks out to find out your current payoff, as well as obtain a pre-approval for seeking our your next home. Many factors affect pre-approvals, such as term, price and interest rate. Be sure you pre-approved and not just pre-qualified, as a pre-approval is the only one that equals an official mortgage application. Also, remember that closing costs typically range from six to ten percent for sellers. If you are on the buying side, it is still important to get a good agent. You could go it alone, but… you will not have the negotiating power on your side that your seller’s agent will have. Make sure you don’t leave yourself vulnerable and that you have someone watching out for you, too!
  3. What’s available to buy – Everyone knows right now, inventory is still fairly low! So, it’s important to go ahead and discuss your expectations early on, including features that are important to you, and then your agent can set you up on search alerts to receive homes as soon as they hit the market.
  4. Cleaning, decluttering, repairs & renovations – Begin cleaning and decluttering your home right away. By the time you put your home on the market, a good rule of thumb is to remove 50% of the items in your house, including any and all personal effects! As you are decluttering, you may way to get a pod or storage unit. And also, remember for your budget, it typically takes $1,500 to move locally and around $4,500 if you’re moving out of state! Also, your agent can do a walk-through and recommend any minor repairs such as cracked tiles, flooring or ceiling stains and water spots that will need to be fixed. At M&D Real Estate, we have a team of maintenance technicians that are highly reasonable and whose work is guaranteed. A pre-listing home inspection can also help you identify repairs to make upfront. Your agent should be able to connect you with reputable local contractors, should you need comprehensive work done on the home.  
  5. Staging your home & Preparing for showings – Staging your home can increase the likelihood of an offer by 68 percent. Homes that are staged also typically go for 9 percent more than homes that are not staged. Your realtor may include this service of light-staging in their fees, or recommend another professional staging service or professional staging photos that can be completed of various rooms in your home.

Extra tips on questions to ask a potential real estate agent:

  1. How many homes have you sold in the area?
  2. How long are homes typically on the market?
  3. What’s your negotiation process?
  4. How many clients are you currently servicing and representing? Who else on your team will assist?
  5. What kind of marketing will you perform to get my home top exposure? How does your team use social media?
  6. What separates you from the competition?
  7. What’s the first thing we’ll do when we get started?

Selling your home, and finding the right home is a process. So, you will want to take the initiative to get a quick jump on things in this market! 

Finding a realtor who understands your needs, the market and is knowledgeable is key to the process. 

At M&D, we specialize in being market experts, strong negotiators, and in setting a selling price that is guaranteed to ensure you do not lose out on tens of thousands of dollars. To learn more about our services, click here